Turkey has begun to administer its national COVID-19 vaccine candidate, TURKOVAC, on volunteers in Istanbul as part of Phase 3 trials.

Jointly developed by the Health Ministry, Health Institutes of Turkey (TUSEB) and Erciyes University, the national inactive candidate vaccine is being administered at the Basaksehir Cam and Sakura City Hospital ahead of wider use.

Chief Physician Mehmet Emin Kalkan said Turkey is currently one of the fastest-vaccinating countries in the world, with a special unit formed at this hospital to vaccinate volunteers with the homegrown jab.

Depending on the success rate of the vaccine on some 40,000 volunteers, TURKOVAC will be made available for mass use, according to Kalkan.

An anonymous volunteer, who got his shot along with his wife, said he was glad to receive the indigenous vaccine and that he had not experienced any complications so far after getting the shot.

Turkey has administered over 56.1 million vaccine shots to date and more than %60.2 of the population has received at least one shot.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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